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ALEXANDER  VON   HTTMBOLDT.                    6B
journey., and Ins amiability and cheerfulness often
made the travellers forget the hardships and danger
of their position. And, indeed, for less courageous
person K It would have been no agreeable journey, for
tl^ons, tapirs, aud pecans, did not in the least avoid the
passing boat ; almost as in the original paradisaical
static), paiitlierH, hoccos (a Hack feathered animal),
and crocodiles from 18 to 22 feet long, gazed at the
travellers, and when they rode at night the tigers
wont into the woods for prey, the wild animals howled
in the forests, the boat drove against trees which
ilouted on the water, while sometimes the cry of the
parrot was intermingled with more savage cries, and
wan merrily responded to by the little monkeys on
the shore.
In this manner the ship's company rowed from the
Apuro Into the wide expanse of the Oriiiocco, which,
with its high, foamy waves, stretched before them like
a sea.    The beauty of this wild nature pleased Hura-
boldt as much as the tradition of the  Indians about
this water.     Hurnboldt had nearly sunk once with tlxe
ship during a high wind, in consequence of the steers-
man's carol GfeiHii ess, and the water already covered MB
papers and specimens ; a mere accident saved him
and   his   companions,   and when  they   at   nightfall
bivouacked on a sterile island in the  stream,  eating
tlu/ir oven dug meal in the moonlight,  seated  on tor-
toitfcxsholls,  tho form  of dafigor again  arose  before
Humboldt'H soul.   Ho had only been on the Ormocco
three daya, and a ship's journey of three months, con-
noetod with far greater dangers, was yet before him*
Thinking  of   this   hour,    lie   writes:—"There   are
momonte in, Hfo In which, without absolutely despair-
Ing, tho future seems very uncertain ; one Is more
apt then to Indulge in solemn reflection when having
escaped a danger, one has need of a great emotion/'
And while he thought thus and lay on skins on the
ground, tho jaguars swam through the stream, and
played round his resting-place.
The Oxinoeco here, although 194 miles- from •ite